One in three UK workers admit lying to take time off work, mainly because they’re disillusioned with their jobs.
While good weather, hangovers, and romance are motivations for 11%, 18% and 5 % of “skivers” respectively, the majority (61%) claim they are simply bored and depressed with work.
Statistics show that boredom and depression at work is the most common cause for absenteeism, younger workers (18-34) are more prone to skip work and People are more likely to take unwarranted leave if colleagues do so.
Researcher said: “Absenteeism costs British business around Ã‚Â£32bn a year, but our findings suggest a large chunk of this loss is preventable. If people are bored and depressed with their jobs, employers need to think creatively how they can get people back in gear. Rather than a sign of laziness, unwarranted absence can mean people are under-used.”
For 21% of workers, family responsibilities are the real reason behind “sick” days, perhaps highlighting the difficulties people face achieving a work-life balance.
Reasearch has also shown that introducing or enhancing flexible working arrangements can make a difference. Ensuring people feel they’re not taken for granted is also important. Some 15% of those who provided false excuses felt they deserved the time.
Prevention may be easier than cure given the lengths people go to cover their tracks. Illness is the favoured excuse for 83% of people taking “sickies”, with four out of ten even faking symptoms around the office in preparation for a day off. Some 16% of “skivers” sniff at work, another 12% pretend to lose their voice, while 5% have even used props such as bandages, crutches and make-up. The illness of choice though, is one which is difficult to prove: half of all excuses involve gastro related problems.
Employers need to take heed because taking a day off for a false reason seems to be contagious. A third of workers think they’d be more likely to take unwarranted leave if they see their colleagues getting away with it. The symptoms can also be long lasting, with two thirds of “skivers” saying their days off are more credible if they pretend to be ill for more than one day.